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Carbene catalysis

An internal affair

Preparing powerful reactive intermediates such as enolates and homoenolates for C–C bond formation used to require strong bases and stoichiometric reagents. They can now be catalytically generated from α-functionalized aldehydes or even from saturated esters under mild conditions using N-heterocyclic carbene catalysts.

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Figure 1: Functionalized aldehydes or saturated esters can be converted into a wide variety of products by NHC-catalysed formation of reactive intermediates.


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Correspondence to Jeffrey W. Bode.

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Bode, J. An internal affair. Nature Chem 5, 813–815 (2013).

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